WriteToThem is run by the charity mySociety.
Working in the fields of transparency and accountability, mySociety thinks
hard and cares very much about the privacy and security of our users: the
reads privacy policies for fun, though, so we’ve tried to keep it a clear
and reasonably quick read.
We hope it covers everything you need to know, but if you still have any
questions please feel free to contact us.
What information we collect
When you use WriteToThem to contact a representative, you provide the
following personal information:
Your email address
The body of your message
Optionally, your telephone number
Who sees this information
We will pass on your message, name, email and postal address and (if
given) telephone number either direct to the politician(s) you write to,
or, where we do not have a direct email address for the politician,
through an official channel (such as a council democratic services
department or parliamentary office) whose job it is to distribute mail
Note that it is common for MPs and other busy representatives to employ
staff who may read and respond to mail on their behalf.
Representatives’ offices will have and adhere to their own privacy
No-one else views any of the information you provide, unless there is a
problem with the delivery of your message. In such cases, WriteToThem
admin staff may access your message in order to understand what the
issue is. Admin staff have been trained to keep to the high levels of
confidentiality dictated by our moderation policies.
The body of your message is included in the confirmation and survey
emails we send you. These mails are sent through an automated process
and are unseen by humans. If you have concerns about messages which
contain sensitive content, please be careful in forwarding or sharing
We sometimes use data from WriteToThem for research. This data does not
contain identifying details such as names, addresses, email addresses
or the content of messages. Rather, we analyse aggregate data for
purposes such as our regular statistics on what percentage of users
receive a response from their representatives. Our Research Data Release
policy may be seen on request.
We will never sell or otherwise distribute any information you give
WriteToThem to organisations or individuals outside of mySociety, except
if required to do so by UK law.
Consequences of using WriteToThem
When your representative responds to your message, their reply will go
directly to your email inbox. This response, and any subsequent
correspondence, happens outside the WriteToThem system.
WriteToThem does not operate a mailing list and there is no concept of
accounts or registration on the site.
We will never send you unsolicited email except for the following:
- If you submit a message but do not click the confirmation link, we
send you one reminder after 24 hours;
- Two weeks after you send your message, we send you an automated email
to ask whether you received a response. If you do not respond, we send
you a single reminder.
- On rare occasions, we pass on a message from a politician who is
concerned that they have mislaid emails from their constituents,
inviting you to re-establish contact.
As part of the process of sending your message to your representative we
will send you a limited number of emails, as described above. If during this
process you wish to stop receiving emails from us, or you are a
representative who no longer wishes to receive email via WriteToThem*,
please contact us.
* If you are a representative wishing to opt out of WriteToThem, we
encourage you to think again! WriteToThem is a system which makes it simple
for your constituents to contact you, where they might find other channels
more difficult to access. We have measures in place that prevent bulk
mailings and contact with representatives other than the constituents’ own.
You may wish to read more about the service and how you can best use it at
Legal basis for processing
When you use WriteToThem to contact your representative, we
are processing your data under the legal basis 6(1)(f) of
the General Data Protection Regulation – legitimate
interests. We believe we are pursuing a legitimate interest
in benefitting you and society by helping you easily find
out who your representatives are at different levels and
giving you an easy way to contact them. This is also the
legitimate interest we have in processing the names and
contact information for representatives.
We store your IP address and the pages that you visited whilst on the
site as part of our site logs. We keep these for one month.
We do not keep permanent copies of the letters you write to send to your
We store the content of your message for four weeks after it was
dispatched, and then it is automatically deleted. We keep a copy in
backup files for one additional week. Unless there is a technical
problem with your message, it is never viewed by WriteToThem staff. We
keep messages in our servers for this long to enable us to monitor and
prevent abuse of the service. It also means we can include a copy of
your message in the questionnaire which asks if your representative has
responded yet, so you know which one we are talking about.
If delivery of a message fails for a period of seven days, we keep the
message content for a further eight weeks, to give us time to diagnose
the problem and where possible to resend the message.
We keep records of names, emails and addresses for two years in order to
provide an audit trail if a representative queries the accuracy of the
statistics on response rates we produce. We will never give these out to
a representative on any other occasion than when you send them your
If you contact WriteToThem via our support email address we will keep
your message for two years. This is to aid continuity and so that we can
view any historic context which may have bearing on subsequent support
mail, even if members of the support staff change. Support staff adhere
to strict internal privacy and security policies.
Your right to access
You may contact us at any time to ask to see what personal data we hold
Your right to object
The General Data Protection Regulation gives you the right to object to our
processing of your personal information and to ask us to stop processing it.
However, it also gives us the right to continue to process it if we can demonstrate
compelling legitimate grounds for the processing that override your interests, rights
and freedoms. To exercise your right to object, you can
contact us, giving specific reasons why you are objecting to the processing of
your personal data. These reasons should be based upon your particular situation.
Your right to complain
If you believe that we have mishandled your data, you have the right to
lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
You can report a concern here
(but do contact us first, so that we can try and help).
Who we are
WriteToThem is run by mySociety, a UK not-for-profit social enterprise. Our
registered address is:
483 Green Lanes
…and we can also be contacted here.
To make our service easier or more useful, we sometimes place small data
files on your computer or mobile phone, known as cookies; many websites do
this. We use this information to measure how people use the website so we
can improve it and make sure it works properly. Below, we give more
information on which cookies we use.
Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)
We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use
this site. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its
users and to help us make improvements.
Google Analytics stores information such as what
pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here, what you click
on, and information about your web browser. IP addresses are masked (only a
portion is stored) and personal information is only reported in aggregate. We
do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data for any purpose besides
providing us with analytics information, and we recommend that any user of
Google Analytics does the same.
You can opt out of Google
If you want to disable advertising-based tracking, you can
adjust your Google Ads
Settings, or opt out of advertising-based tracking across a
number of providers in one go using the
Advertising Initiative’s opt-out form.
Rest assured, we only track usage data for one reason: to help us
understand how we can make the site work better for you, our
Bits of wording taken from the GOV.UK cookies page (under the Open Government Licence).